The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

PBPL 85 Meets with World Bank Officials

The 2017 PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership class meets with officials at the World Bank and takes a picture in front of their Christmas tree. 

The 2017 PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership class visits an elementary school run by Bridge International Academies in partnership with the Liberian government.

The 2017 PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership class explores an elementary school run by Bridge International Academies in partnership with the Liberian government.

A teacher at an elementary school run by Bridge International Academies in partnership with the Liberian government reads to his class from a tablet. 

The Liberian flag flutters in the wind, as the 2017 PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership class conducts research for a policy memo in Liberia. 

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Another exciting day here in Liberia! We survived our last day of meetings with two very exciting visits. In the morning, we met with the World Bank’s Country Manager, Larisa Leshchenko, and her team. This was one of the most productive and insightful meetings we’ve had in the country. We were able to discuss Liberia’s economic priorities with a group of really knowledgeable professionals, and gained great insight about what steps to recommend to the new government. Before we left we took a picture in front of the World Bank Christmas tree. We tried really hard, but sadly could not get Anthony to smile. Maybe tomorrow when we visit Chimpanzee island!

After a quick lunch, we had the opportunity to visit an elementary school run by Bridge International Academies in partnership with the Liberian government. Students ranged from “preschoolers” to sixth graders, and were split into classes of 45 to 50 students. At Bridge schools, teachers are given tablets with lesson plans they use to teach every day. The tablets allow Bridge to monitor teacher attendance and track lesson progress. The goal is to help the government improve the quality of education and eventually adopt some aspects of Bridge schools into the public educational system. We sat in on a couple of classes and saw how students learn. They were well-behaved and very curious about the intruders that showed up to watch their classes. It was interesting to learn that most teachers at the school are still working on a volunteer basis because of a delay in payroll enrollment. Teachers and Bridge hope to resolve this problem soon.

We are now in full memo-writing mode. After a week and a half in the country and several insightful meetings, we are ready to start consolidating our recommendations and thoughts on the future of Liberia. We have just over 72 hours left and a lot of work to do. Stay tuned for more updates in the next couple of days! 

Written by Julia Decerega​ '18, a 17F PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership course participant

This is part of a series where student reflect on their experiences during the field research portion of the PBPL 85:Global Policy Leadership course. The 2017 PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership class is conducting two weeks of research in Liberia during the off-campus portion of the course, in order to produce a comprehensive policy memo. During Dartmouth’s winter interim, students meet with local policy leaders: politicians, academics, civil society leaders, journalists, business leaders, diplomats, and other in-country experts who help inform their analyses.

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